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Updated: 31 May 2022

Best gin and tonic cans

We pitted big-brand gin-in-a-tin's from Bombay Sapphire, Gordon's, Tanqueray and Sipsmith and against supermarket alternatives from Aldi, Lidl, Tesco and more to find the perfect pre-mixed cans
Alice Williams
Gin and tonic cans in a bucket

A pre-mixed G&T in a can is a handy choice for spontaneous summer socialising, and there are plenty of options to choose from these days. But which ones are worth a sip and what's best left on the shelf?

To find out which pre-mixed tipples are best, in June 2021 we put 11 cans from brand like Bombay Sapphire, Gordon's, Sipsmith and Tanqueray up against five cheaper supermarket gin-in-a-tin options from Aldi, Lidl and Tesco in a blind taste test.

See which supermarkets beat the brands below, plus the branded gin you can rely on when choices are limited.

Best gin & tonic cans

Supermarkets gin and tonics won out in our test, with Sainsbury's and Tesco taking the top spots for taste, and cheaper options from Lidl and Aldi not too far behind.

5% ABV seemed to be the sweet spot for our tasters, with most 5% supermarket options - and Gordon's 5% G&T - going down well with our tasters.

Stronger drinks tipped the balance too far for our panel, who rated them lower. Mark & Spencer's super-strong 8% can found itself at the bottom of the rankings.

Best Buy: Sainsbury's Gin & Tonic 77%

£1 per 250ml can (5% ABV)

Sainsbury's gin and tonic

Sainsbury's cans were our panel's top pick. It's not the first time a Sainsbury's gin has impressed - its gin was our favourite budget buy in our taste test, so it's perhaps not surprising the pre-mixed version has triumphed, too.

It hit the high notes on all of our tests, with most tasters finding the colour, aroma and level of fizziness spot on. Despite the gin flavour not coming through as strongly as other cans, lots of our panel loved its freshness, with one commenting on its lovely 'crisp, clean taste'.

Available from Sainsbury's.

Best Buy: Tesco London Dry Gin & Tonic 75%

£1 per 250ml can (5% ABV)

Tesco London Dry Gin & Tonic

Another supermarket takes the silver medal. Some tasters sais they found it 'smooth' on the palette, refreshingly fizzy and just the right clear colour.

There's not much to separate it from Sainsbury's, so we'd recommend heading straight to Tesco if it happens to be your nearest supermarket.

Available from Tesco.

Lidl Finton's Special London Dry Gin & Tonic 73%

85p per 250ml can (5% ABV)

It's the joint-cheapest gin tin we tested, but you wouldn't know it from the quality of this drink. Our tasters rated its colour, aroma and fizziness on their palettes.

Some picked up on its 'fruity' flavour. It was just the right level of bitterness for our panel, although many would have liked more notes of gin and alcohol to cut through.

Available from Lidl.

Aldi Greyson's London Dry Gin & Tonic 72%

85p per 250ml can (5% ABV)

Lidl's rival budget brand is just a smidge behind and still a great budget pick. Some tasters said they liked the 'sweetness' in the flavour and the mouthfeel, although some thought it could be a bit fizzier and less bitter.

The only real letdown is the aroma, with some of our panel finding the smell weaker and less appealing than our Best Buys.

Available from Aldi.

Gordon's London Dry Gin & Tonic 71%

£1.60 per 250ml can (5% ABV)

Gordon's was the preferred branded option in our test, although it still falls behind the other cheaper 5% ABV supermarket pre-mixed drinks.

It looks the part, with a lovely clear colour, but our panel wanted more from the aroma when you crack open the can. It impressed flavour-wise, however the taste of alcohol could be a bit stronger.

Available from Asda, Morrisons and Tesco.

Tanqueray London Dry Gin & Tonic 69%

£2 per 250ml can (6.5% ABV)

It's a big step up in price when you go to the brands, however you do usually get a stronger drink - in this case, 6.5% ABV.

This one didn't wow our tasters, though - the flavour, like the fizziness, fell a bit flat. It was slightly on the bitter side for their taste; a letdown after the enticing aroma.

Available from Sainsbury's and Tesco.

Brewdog Lonewolf Gin & Tonic 68%

£2.25 per 250ml can (6.5% ABV)

Brewdog claims its canned gin and tonic has some 'bite', which certainly came through for our tasters in the nicely strong gin flavour and right level of fizziness.

However, many felt it tasted too bitter, so it misses out on a spot at the top of our leaderboard.

Available from Waitrose.

Sipsmith London Dry Gin & Tonic 67%

£2.50 per 250ml can (7.3% ABV)

Sipsmith makes the priciest gin and tonic we tested. You get a high alcohol content for your money, and a nice refreshing mouthfeel, but otherwise we're not entirely sure it's worth it based on our results.

Many didn't love the flavour. Despite a higher % ABV, some found the tonic overpowering and the taste a little 'like lemonade'. The aroma didn't wow them. either.

Available from Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose.

Bombay Sapphire Gin & Tonic 66%

£2 per 250ml can (6.5% ABV)

The panel weren't bowled over by Bombay Sapphire's cans. It looks and smells like an appetising drink, and it's nicely fizzy – but some though the mouthfeel wasn't as smooth and refreshing as some others they tried.

As for the flavour, several tasters commented on its off-putting aftertaste and it verged on too bitter for them, too.

Available from Asda, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose.

Alfie Premium Mixed Gin & Tonic 64%

£1 per 250ml can (4% ABV)

Alfie Premium Mixed Gin & Tonic

Alfie's canned G&T has the lowest alcohol content of the line-up, which might be the culprit behind the 'bland' aroma that many of our tasters found.

Still, many were happy with the amount of gin they could taste in the drink and they liked its appetising pale colour. Some would have liked it to be a bit fizzier, though.

Available from Iceland.

M&S Gin & Tonic 61%

£2.10 per 250ml can (8% ABV)

This 8% ABV tipple is the strongest our testers tried - and their least favourite. It looks the part at least, but the smell was a little underwhelming and many felt that it didn't have enough fizz.

Our panel were disappointed with the flavour, too. They found it overall much too bitter with an overpowering taste of gin - not surprising given its high alcohol content.

Available from M&S.

Prefer to mix your cocktails yourself? Head to our roundup of the best gin we've tasted.

How to serve pre-mixed gin and tonic

Gin and tonic with garnish

Part of the beauty of a pre-mixed gin and tonic is in the simplicity of serving. All it needs is a little time in a fridge (or cool bag if you're on the move), and it's ready to crack open and drink.

If you're planning on drinking your tins at home, though, and you have a little more time to spare, you can elevate your drink with a few simple steps.

Tesco recommends pouring the contents of your can over fresh ice cubes, then drop in a fresh lime wedge for an extra sour kick.

Lidl advises topping up its tin with tonic water - a good option for those who like their drink a little less strong. Serving with a slice of lemon adds another flavour note, too.

You can experiment with other citrus fruits - pink grapefruit adds a bright twist. More unusual garnishes (according to the Craft Gin Club) include strawberries and black pepper for a sweet and spicy hit, coriander or lemongrass to bring out the citrus, or cinnamon and orange peel if you want to serve your tins in the winter months, too.

Pink gin and tonic cans - what they taste of and where to buy

Pink drinks - whether gin, cider or fizz - are all the rage thanks to a recent penchant for all things 'millenial pink', but you might be surprised to learn that pink gin actually pre-dates back to the 1800s. According to Sipsmith, it was added to bitters as a treatment for seasickness for sailors before the general public caught on.

Pink gin is made from adding a concoction of either rhubarb, berries, grape skins or rose petals to a juniper-based gin, and despite the sweet-looking colour, it actually has more of a bitter palette than traditional gin.

You can buy pre-mixed pink gin and tonic in a number of supermarkets. Gordon's (available at Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, and Tesco) is a popular brand, although you could go for Lidl own-brand Hortus for something a little cheaper.

Heading out on a picnic with your G&T cans? See which cool boxes and reusable freezer bags we recommend.

How to recycle drinks cans

Metal drinks cans can usually go in your household recycling bin. Make sure to give the tin a quick rinse and pop the lid inside. Labels are removed as part of the recycling process, so you don’t need to take them off beforehand.

If you buy a multipack, you can usually recycle the plastic ring joiners and wrappers at supermarket plastic collection points.

How we tested

The gin and tonic cans were assessed by a large panel of consumers who regularly drink gin and tonic.

The make-up of the panel broadly represents the demographic profile of adults in the UK.  

Each gin and tonic can was assessed by 88 people. 

The panellists rated the taste, aroma, appearance and mouthfeel of each product, and told us what they liked and disliked about each one.  

The taste test was blind, so the panellists didn’t know which brand they were trying. The order in which they sampled the gin and tonic cans was fully rotated to avoid any bias.  

Each panellist had a private booth, so they couldn’t discuss what they were tasting or be influenced by others. 

The overall score is based on: 

  • 50% flavour 
  • 30% aroma
  • 15% appearance
  • 5% mouthfeel

These weightings are based on consumer rankings of the importance of different gin and tonic attributes.